Build a life, not a resume

Build a life, not a resume

Personal aspirations collide with firm realities; conflicts rage among a person's competing interests.

  • min read


Build a life, not a resume

Jennifer was struggling. She and her younger colleague, Mac, were already well into the main course and uncorking a second bottle of wine, but she seemed to be getting nowhere. Mac's questions were thoughtful and unrelenting.

Sure, I'm on the fast track at our firm, but where exactly is that taking me? As a new partner, I expect to make sacrifices and work hard. And I certainly appreciate the big bonuses. But is this really what I should want for the rest of my life? I'd like to keep growing professionally, keep on developing my skills. And over time, I want to be able to make some tradeoffs—to invest in my family, my community, and my personal passions. How will more years in the firm help me accomplish those goals? You're an ambitious person with a broad array of interests and commitments, Jennifer. Don't you ever feel this way? Why are you still here?

In fact, despite the two decades that separated them, Jennifer had often asked herself the same questions over the years. At this very moment, she was wrestling with whether to retire early from the firm and pursue a leadership role with the local community foundation. The headhunter had been persistent—and Jennifer was genuinely intrigued.

The dinner ended, and Mac and Jennifer went their separate ways. They were mentor and mentee, colleague and friend, exploring similar questions.

Eighteen months later, the office celebrated as Mac landed the biggest account of his career. He e-mailed Jennifer at the community foundation to share the great news.

This scenario (with variations) is played out daily in professional firms. Personal aspirations collide with firm realities; conflicts rage among a person's competing interests. Outstanding professionals—stars—are inherently ambitious and restless, creating a certain amount of unavoidable turmoil for themselves and their colleagues.

If that turmoil transfers into lower productivity or, worse yet, star turnover, a firm can find itself in deep trouble. The destiny of the individual and the firm is not easily separated when the underlying business model is powered by professionals: Stars sell and serve clients. Stars lead and follow the firm. Their skills, motivation, and behaviors determine the firm's ultimate success or failure.

Thus we turn the spotlight on you, the professionals who are these organizations. More specifically, we look at why—and how—the concept of alignment can be as powerful on a personal level as it is when applied to the direction of a firm overall. This is critical for your business, as well as for yourself.

Alignment is created when a firm's strategy, organizational choices, culture, and leadership are mutually reinforcing. In practice, this means that alignment is always a cumulative consequence of hundreds of separate decisions and thousands of individual behaviors. "Aligning the stars," the metaphor we use to capture this phenomenon, suggests that alignment can propel a firm toward its strategic goals and lead to financial and competitive success.

The process of aligning your own star unfolds in a similar way. Like an organization, an individual's decisions and behavior can be aligned with his or her own capabilities, goals, needs, and values—or not. Such personal alignment is hard to calibrate on any given day. But its presence (or absence) almost always becomes apparent over time, as life unfolds. Contrast the people you're familiar with who seem to lead happy and fulfilling, though not necessarily easy, lives with those who seem perpetually discontented, whatever their achievements, and you will recognize the phenomenon. The former have achieved personal alignment; the latter likely have not.

Every life is shaped to some extent by circumstances: a lucky break or a fortunate decision. You heard about a job opening from a friend.You received a great job offer at a prestigious firm because you were "on" in the interview.You bumped into your future spouse (of forty years) at a wedding that you almost decided not to attend. Things happen to us that drive our destinies in unforeseen ways. More fundamentally, we are all dealt a hand of cards—ranging from our genes to the family and neighborhood we grew up in—which shapes how we adapt to these circumstances.

Personal alignment is how well we play that hand so that our decisions match our capabilities and aspirations. The game is complex and gradual. As children, our parents guide us, then ease away until we are virtually independent. We select a college and then a first job, often making choices without even beginning to know what we really don't know.We move on, reacting to opportunities, coping with disappointments.As we succeed, and especially as we fail, we mature and learn more and more about the consequences of our choices. The nature of the game and its choices change dramatically from age 30 to age 45 to age 60, yet the fundamentals remain largely constant.We must build on the hand of cards we're dealt and adapt to changing circumstances.

Achieving personal alignment requires the wisdom and discipline to understand and accept yourself and these enduring fundamentals. It requires asking—and answering—tough questions about your future: What do you want to accomplish, personally and professionally? As a professional, how do you want to allocate your time and efforts among your various roles? Beyond your career, what are your goals with respect to your family, your community, and yourself? What relationship are you seeking between your work and these other aspects of your life?

Engaging in such reflection is difficult and takes time and explicit attention. The process of personal alignment may begin with the commencement speaker who urges you to reflect on the advantages you've been given and how you will apply them in the years ahead. But if it stops there, you're in trouble because the challenge of leading a fulfilling life lies in consistent attention to your own priorities. It takes discipline to overcome the inertia generated by the daily demands of clients, colleagues, and the firm. To make conscious tradeoffs across life's dimensions ("I will take that vacation," "I will spend more time with my spouse").To appreciate your own strengths and accept the limitations of your weaknesses. What distinguishes the men and women who succeed from those who fail is the efficacy of their actions, not the spaciousness of their hopes. If they believe their lives are out of alignment with their capabilities, goals, and needs, they make choices and take actions to correct the situation.

Success in a professional service firm is 10% strategy, 90% implementation. So, too, with individuals.Your actions, your daily behavior, are ultimately what matter most. Many executives want to become CEOs, for example, but only a few have the drive and dedication to actually do what is necessary. Unfortunately, many of us fail to follow through on our goals and decisions. We fail to make the necessary sacrifices and tradeoffs. Why is this?

Aligning a life, it turns out, is much more complex than aligning a business. A commercial enterprise is basically one-dimensional: It must win in the marketplace or perish.A business does not value life's journey, only its financial achievements. For human beings, the experience of the journey is an achievement all its own; we live lives filled with joys and sorrows, love and hate, pleasure and pain. If life were business, then our net worth would define happiness. Instead, we dream of living our finite years as fully as possible, across a variety of dimensions. As we age, our perspectives evolve; we develop different visions and goals for ourselves—accompanied by varying strategies, decisions, and behaviors. Sorting all this out is not easy.

Nevertheless, doing so is well worth the effort for you and for your firm. Professionals who find fulfillment in life, who are essentially aligned around their personal goals, are more productive and motivated. They become better leaders as their enthusiasm and satisfaction invigorate their colleagues. They become star-makers, who better nurture and develop colleagues. Because their lives feel aligned, they see no need to search for greener pastures. In many ways, personal alignment is as valuable for the firm as it is for the individual.

We don't claim to have the answers to life's questions. Far from it! But over the years, we've each made our share of mistakes and wrestled with our own conflicting goals. We've coached, collaborated, and consulted with hundreds of professionals, young and old, in a wide array of firms. Every individual's situation is unique, yet there are similarities. We all crave demanding, fulfilling careers.We want financial security, but not at the expense of other dimensions in our lives. We love our spouse and kids (and grandkids), and are forever trying to balance the demands of the office with the joys and needs of home. We hope to contribute to our community, nurture friendships, and enjoy the spiritual camaraderie of church, mosque, or synagogue. We want to have fun, to learn, to give back.We yearn to live a valuable, fulfilling life and to leave a few footprints in the sand when our days are done.

Professionals: Different Yet Similar

Whether you are a young professional striving to become a partner or an established leader in your firm, you are in an exceptionally demanding career. The intellectual and emotional challenges of your work are great, and the hours are long. Many weeks, there is little (if any) time for anything other than work and sleep. For younger readers, the goal of making it to partner or its equivalent may be compelling and make any amount of effort seem worthwhile. But as more experienced readers surely know, although the rewards of this accomplishment are great, the demands of the job don't diminish once you've arrived. On the contrary, the pace of work continues and even expands as the responsibilities of being an owner and a firm leader kick in.

To complicate matters further, highly successful professionals tend to share several characteristics, which contribute to their professional success but also tend to get in the way when they try to align the various aspects of their lives. Generalizing about such a large and diverse population is always risky. Yet we suspect that at least some of the following descriptions will resonate with many of you:

  • You enjoy your craft. The intellectual challenges of your profession fascinate you, and you know that the stimulation and independence it provides would be hard to replicate elsewhere.
  • Work is at the core of your life, setting your daily schedule and dictating your family and personal life, possibly more than you allow yourself to recognize.
  • You greatly value your firm and your colleagues.
  • You can become so absorbed by work that you ignore other issues in your life, including the tough questions about your future career and your aspirations.

If you—like the two of us see aspects of yourself in this profile, it's probably worth pausing to reflect on where you've been, how you've achieved your success, and, most important, where you want to head. In other words, create your own sense of direction, your own personal strategy.

"You Are Here": The Power of Feedback

Basic business strategy requires companies to examine their circumstances with objective, even ruthless clarity. Understanding and accepting the critical facts about competitive position, relative cost and quality, customer loyalty, and market dynamics is the precursor to effective action. Developing your sense of personal direction requires the same kind of thoughtful attention. It requires appreciating where "Here" is across all the dimensions of your life. This means understanding the state of your family life as thoroughly as you do your client relationships. Reflecting on your spiritual life and your contributions to your community. Considering your personal friendships as well as your professional relationships. From career challenges, to health considerations, to family matters, you have to stare reality in the face. It isn't always a pretty picture.

And because it isn't pretty, it's tempting to turn away, go back to work, and hope for the best.The "best" isn't likely to happen, however, unless you make the effort to understand and accept the reality of your circumstances.

You might seek the perspectives of your friends, colleagues, and family members. How do they see you at present? What is their view of your strengths, and what would they like to see you do differently? What behaviors do they suggest that you stop? Start? Continue? You may not like what you hear, and you may not agree with it. Certainly you don't have to follow all (or any) of the advice you're given.

However, our experience tells us that if you approach such dialogues with an open mind, you'll learn a lot about yourself. It will also prompt thinking about the past and how you may want to address the future. The tradeoffs and choices in your life will come into sharper focus. Heightened understanding can lead to better personal decisions.

Honest feedback is a valuable—albeit often painful—gift. Seeking it out is not a natural act. We all want to protect ourselves, to solicit only those perspectives that reinforce our positive self-image.To hear what we agree with and discard the rest. We rationalize this behavior in a million different ways, from discrediting the source of a disagreeable perspective ("What do they really know?") to "accidentally" forgetting the feedback a few days later. That is why it takes conscious effort to see ourselves as others truly see us, rather than as we'd like to think they do.

Ironically, it is often much easier to get clarity professionally than personally. Outstanding firms find ways to make constructive feedback an ongoing part of their professionals' lives. But performance reviews about your personal life are anything but routine and a lot tougher to facilitate. Nevertheless, try listening carefully to your spouse's concerns and understanding how you look through your children's eyes.Try keeping notes—perhaps even a journal. Gradually, seeking and accepting feedback will become a habit, a way of living. Like a captain at sea, you'll be able to plot your life's coordinates and accept the reality that "I am here."

A Personal Point of Arrival

Like the captain, you'll also navigate life's seas more successfully if you have a point on the horizon toward which to steer.This means clarifying a point of arrival, being explicit about where you want your life to go on all of its dimensions—career and family, community and self It also means reassessing this direction as your circumstances and life evolve.

A set of tough personal tradeoffs will likely be embedded in that point of arrival. Money offers a superb illustration. Most professionals, much of the time, behave as if more money is categorically better than less. Early on, they dream of a million-dollar net worth as their objective.Then that million dollars drifts to five million, perhaps even ten million. As careers progress, financial objectives inexorably ratchet upward. But should a professional strive to "maximize" her net worth? It all depends on you, and where you are headed.

Maximizing one of life's variables (such as net worth) usually comes at the direct expense of others (such as free time). More money is better only if the tradeoffs it requires don't undermine other dimensions of your desired point of arrival. Even the wealthiest among us agree that at some level, money has diminishing marginal returns. But since money is a common scorecard, it can gradually become an end in and of itself—with the consequence that more always seems better.

It is surprisingly rare for professionals to set explicit financial objectives and then behave differently once those objectives have been met: by working part-time, for instance, or by taking a lengthy sabbatical. Instead, old habits win out and we obsess over our net worth as the stock market gyrates. Many experienced professionals assert that they would gladly trade off 10 to 20% less income for 10 to 20% more personal time, yet they rarely behave that way. They go wherever client and firm demands carry them. And as the old saying goes, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there."

Discovering your personal point of arrival means tackling the really tough questions head-on. What does wealth mean to you? How much is enough? How long do you want to pursue your career? Are there second or third careers in your future? When and how will you exit your firm? How will you feel if your children reach adulthood and you haven't really gotten to know them—or they you? How serious are your spouse's escalating expressions of dissatisfaction with your relationship and time together? What does success mean to you? These are all hard questions, but the answers-and how you act on them—will surely be key to how you feel about yourself 10 or 20 years from now.

Einstein observed that "Questions are more important than answers."Without honest questions, there can be no useful answers. And even with the questions, the answers are never absolute. A new 30-year-old partner with a young family and an enormous mortgage will likely answer the same questions differently than a 50-something senior partner with ample net worth and grown children. But until you've explicitly defined your life's goals and aspirations, you can't really know what tradeoffs you're willing to make to reach them.

Life Strategies

A destination is incomplete without a map for the journey. Some professionals "wing it" and get lucky. Others allow themselves to be buffeted by circumstances. A thoughtful few begin to plan their life's strategy in their 20s and continue into their 70s. They understand that an effective personal strategy is more important than a business strategy—and much more complex.

Like a business strategy, a personal strategy emerges as a "stream of decisions made over time."1 The central decisions almost always revolve around resource deployment, and the resources you have are your time and your energy. Achieving your point of arrival at any phase of your life is therefore highly dependent on your strategy for deploying these two assets.

Because your professional and financial performance turns on the effective utilization of your time, the dilemmas this creates are real and unavoidable. Explicitly or implicitly, you're selling your time to others: your clients and your firm. In fact, if the marketplace isn't buying your time (as a producer and/or manager), your career is probably headed downhill. Time and skill are a professional's only real product, and the incentive to sell as much of that product as possible to the highest bidder is great—even if that conflicts with your personal needs.

The phrase life balance barely begins to capture the subtleties of this conflict. How easily can a lawyer say "no" to an important client, even though the subsequent work will take him away from his family four nights a week? How does a consultant trade off her time between a boring large project and an exciting, but tiny, new client? You love your kids, but time at home will constrain your billable hours and revenue performance. Besides, the latter two will determine your income and that will help pay for the kids' education.

A wise man once asserted that each of us is defined by our commitments. Certainly that's true for professionals.You are defined by the clients you serve, and the clients you walk away from; by the assignments you accept, and those you reject. You are defined by the balance you strike between being a "producer" and a "manager," in tandem with the Little League games you do (or don't) attend.You are defined by the choices you make. Over time, those cumulative choices become your personal strategy, and ultimately they will determine whether you realize your aspirations.

Therein lies an insight: Do not allow others to make personal choices for you. Do not unwittingly suppress your life's strategy to the incessant demands of others. Do not automatically go with the flow. Since time is your only currency, be deliberate and disciplined about its expenditure in the context of your goals. This will inevitably create conflicts among clients, firm, and family, since thoughtful choices require saying "yes" to some activities and "no" to others. Yet if you don't make explicit decisions and manage these conflicts, you can kiss your aspirations good-bye.You won't reach your destination if you allow others to map the route.

Develop Yourself

Implementing a personal strategy over decades, while developing yourself personally as well as professionally, makes pursuing a firm's competitive strategy look like a walk in the park. Fortunately, enough seasoned professionals have taken on the challenge to allow the rest of us to benefit from their experience. And while learning from your mistakes isn't what's usually called "best practice," in this arena that's the way most of the advice that follows has been learned.

First, aggressively manage your career. By exercising a strong, disciplined voice in how you spend your time—the clients you work with, the problems you tackle, the locations you work in—you will shape your portfolio of skills. Cumulatively, these experiences and skills will define your professional profile and amplify your desired personal "strategic identity."

Second, recognize that relationships, both internal and external, matter enormously. It's not the size of your Rolodex, but the level of mutual trust and respect you share with others that will ultimately help you achieve your goals. If clients and colleagues truly trust and respect you, they are more likely to accept the choices you make in allocating your time—even if they wish they could have more of it.

Third, take responsibility for your own learning. The fact that you may already be successful doesn't mean that you've achieved your full potential. Think of yourself as a work in progress, whatever your age. The world and your profession are constantly changing, and so can you. We've already spoken about the importance of feedback and the need to seek it out. Use what you learn to help you identify and build on your personal strengths, as well as to minimize and compensate for your limitations. You cannot be the "perfect" professional. Nobody can, so be realistic. Be yourself and build on your own capabilities. Lead from your strengths.

At the same time, there are some core competencies that all professionals need, which are essential to continually upgrade. Chief among them are the attributes of emotional intelligence.You won't achieve your potential with clients or colleagues unless you can talk and listen to them effectively.

Beware strategic obsolescence. In a dynamic world, yesterday's skills must be continually upgraded to meet tomorrow's demands. Read, study, and think outside your traditional comfort zone. Pursue new types of projects with new colleagues.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, business turmoil may be your friend, allowing you to better demonstrate your capabilities and the value you add to your organization. During tumultuous times, businesses either lose share or gain share. The same is true for individuals. If you know your personal goals and you're clear-minded about your life strategy, then the turmoil created by a recession, or merger, or reorganization can be an opportunity for gaining personal advantage. It may prompt a "battlefield promotion" at your firm or cause you to pursue a fruitful new direction.

During such times, the ability to steer your life toward an explicit point on the horizon is more important than ever. If you understand what you really want for yourself, you're likely to find it easier to exercise leadership within the firm without becoming consumed by what may appear to be a no-win proposition. As a firm leader, you'll be able to do your best to sustain and build the firm on its new course. But you'll also be able to develop and remain open-minded to a personal "plan B," so that if things don't work out you'll know how and when to exit.

Finally, never stop leading from within your organization. Respect others, practice humility, and recognize the difference between self-confidence and egotism.When you're working with colleagues and clients, remember that life has lots of ups and downs, and that all of us shuttle in and out of the winner's circle at various times. Others will be able to tell whether or not you genuinely want to help them succeed. In fact, the more you lead from within, the more influence you'll have and the better able you'll be to achieve your goals and aspirations.

The Evolving You

Personal life goals naturally evolve as circumstances change. As John Gardner observed in Self-Renewal, "Most of us have potentialities that have never been developed simply because the circumstances of our lives never called them forth."A promotion, a new child, a divorce, or a death in the family can be the opportunity to seriously rethink your point of arrival. Fundamental changes—some anticipated and some unanticipated-shape everyone's destiny. The challenge is to turn them to your advantage, to use them as opportunities for self-renewal.

From time to time, everyone benefits from being "re-potted," from applying their talents to new challenges. Re-potting and self-renewal go hand in hand, whether the pot is a new position, a new firm, or an entirely new career. Repotting always feels risky at first, since you're trading the comfort of familiar experience for uncertainty. But the greater risk is to remain imprisoned in an old pot you have long since outgrown. In a new environment, you can grow to meet new challenges with new energy; in the old one, you run the risk of atrophy.

At some point, you may decide to leave your firm for a "better" opportunity. Be courageous but proceed with caution. You have lots of data about your own organization; you understand the limitations and weaknesses of your personal circumstances. In contrast, you can only evaluate the veneer of other opportunities—especially when the recruiters are in sell mode. Far too many professionals leap at enticing new jobs only to discover that they are worse off than before.

Re-potting is valuable if it takes place in the context of your aspirations, your point of arrival. People succeed when they run toward something rather than away from something.

The same principle applies to retirement strategies. Simply telling yourself to "wait and see" may seem comforting, but as a strategy it's deeply flawed because, again, you're allowing circumstances to drive your life, rather than vice versa. The further you are from retirement, the harder it will be to engage. Nevertheless, start thinking about it now, lest you discover that delay is indeed the deadliest form of denial.What are the rules or cultural norms in your firm and profession? There is immense variation: Goldman Sachs expects its partners to leave in their 50s. Historically, they were made limited partners, and usually pursued careers working for nonprofits or the government. At the other extreme, many law firms permit their partners to continue their legal work by being "of counsel" as long as they are interested and able.

Whatever your firm's particular practices, the important question is, "What is right for you, and how will you pursue it?" One size does not fit all. Each individual has to find the unique solutions that feel right for her or him at that phase of life.

Build a Life, Not a Resume

Whether you know it or not, you may have a challenge looming ahead. An increasingly fundamental challenge that you may artfully ignore. One you stare at in the mirror every morning. That challenge is you.

If you are like many of the professionals we know, you're a superbly trained "type A" overachiever. As a schoolchild, your single-minded competitiveness yielded outstanding report cards, which in turn "promoted" you to top-tier academic opportunities. University and professional school further honed these instincts. When you entered the work world (typically at an early age), you were a ladder climber par excellence. And climb you did. Promotion to partner (or the equivalent) offered a glorious opportunity to celebrate your achievements—a euphoria that lasted at least a few weeks until you realized that you were now perched on the bottom rung of a significantly more demanding ladder.

Now, when you glance in the mirror, you see an accomplished professional. The challenge—and it's a big one—is to see the other dimensions of your life in equally bright light. Can you remember the dreams of your youth, when life felt more like an extraordinary adventure?

Somewhere while climbing the ladder, you may have lost sight of the larger picture. Working weekends became an ingrained habit, just like bringing your cell phone to soccer games, or flying home early from the family vacation. You recall a professor who once claimed that life could be organized into phases where a person first learns, then earns, and finally serves. You rationalize your behavior: You're in the earning phase of your life—even if you've been in that same phase for decades!

Perhaps so. But have your habits changed? Or as your life moves on, do you still have a 28-year-old's schedule loaded into a 48-year-old's PalmPilot?

More important, are you putting aspects of your life partially on hold while you ascend from rung to rung? Are there voices calling from the ground below your ladder—voices of children, a spouse, or a close friend? Voices calling you to public service or toward a radically new career? Your time has no shelf life. Today's sacrifices and tradeoffs cannot be recouped tomorrow.

A basic rule of nature exacerbates this problem for most of us. Behavior is incremental; we live our lives hour by hour, day by day It doesn't really matter if you miss a single piano recital or a week of exercise. But if it becomes a habit, then a year later it may matter a lot. It's the cumulative effect of our behavior (and the trade-offs we make) that generate significant consequences. In the financial world, this phenomenon is often referred to as the "magic of compounding." Invest a dollar for 20 years at 5% interest, and you get $2.65 two decades later. Increase the rate to 10%, and you earn $6.73. While the interest rate doubles, the returns triple. Behavior, for better and worse, compounds over time like money, yielding high personal returns in some areas and disasters in others. And since we have only a fixed amount of currency (our time) to invest, we cannot possibly invest everywhere.We decide what opportunities (like exercise or the piano recital) to pass up.

You control your destiny; no one is dictating your personal tradeoffs and decisions. Sure, there are always short-term constraints. But over the next few years you also have enormous degrees of personal freedom. Especially in a world in which multiple careers, part-time work, and telecommuting are increasingly the norm. Your life has phases that can provide varying challenges and opportunities—if you choose to recognize them. Building an impressive resume is a lot easier than building a fulfilling life because life is a lot more complicated. It's not a ladder at all, but rather a continuum with confusing twists and turns. Being smart helps; being wise, thoughtful, and disciplined is an absolute necessity.

We've seen stars succeed at life, and we've seen stars fail life miserably, despite professional success.Those that succeed build lives as well as resumes. When they stare in the mirror, they don't see just a professional; they see a parent, a spouse, a friend, and a member of the community. They assess their progress objectively against a broad multidimensional scorecard, on which their resume is only one of the indicators. They are never fully aligned, but always aligning. They struggle, fail, and succeed; then they struggle some more.

Sometimes they are afraid, because some of their life decisions cut against conventional wisdom or current inertia. Then confidence returns and assures them that the risk is not as great as it feels. In the end, it is not the risk of failure, but rather the risk of not trying that matters most.

These men and women are a star's star, starmakers and their firm's most precious asset. Their client relationships generate the revenue that pays the bills and the bonuses. Their leadership behavior shapes the destiny of their firm and the impact of its strategy.

Their aspirations and values motivate others: families and friends, colleagues and clients. They are doing their best to build outstanding lives given their personal circumstances.

What about you?

JAY W. LORSCH is the Louis Kirstein Professor of Human Relations at the Harvard Business School.

THOMAS J. TIERNEY is the former Chief Executive of Bain and Company and currently serves as Chairman of The Bridgespan Group, Bain's nonprofit affiliate.

Reprinted by permission of Harvard Business School Press. Excerpted from Aligning the Stars: How to Succeed When Professionals Drive Results by Jay W. Lorsch and Thomas J. Tierney. Copyright 2002 by Jay lW. Lorsch and Bain and Company.

Blending the demands of life and career is both a challenge and an opportunity for personal growth.

If life were business, then our net worth would define happiness.

Personal alignment is as valuable for the firm as it is for the individual

Honest feedback is valuable—albeit often painful—gift. Seeking it out is not natural act.

Think of yourself as a work in progress, whatever your age.

In a dynamic world, yesterday's skills must be continually upgraded to meet tomorrow's demands.


Personal goals; Self-examination; Professional development

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